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Menendez, Risch, Gardner Meet with Taiwanese Vice President-elect William Lai

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member amd chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, today met with Vice President-elect William Lai of Taiwan.

02-04-20 Taiwanese VP-Elect02-04-20 Taiwanese Delegation

“It was a pleasure to welcome Vice President-elect Lai to the Senate,” said Menendez. “As I told the Vice President-elect during our conversation, I’m looking forward to working closely with him and President Tsai’s new administration to strengthen the bonds that bind the United States and the people of Taiwan together in the years ahead. Whether it is bilateral security or economic and trade relations, the importance of the relationship between Taiwan and the United States cannot be overstated.”

“It was great to welcome Vice President-elect Lai to the U.S. Capitol today,” said Risch. “During our meeting, I expressed support for Taiwan’s full inclusion as the world responds to the coronavirus outbreak. It is imperative that affected nations receive information they need from the World Health Organization and international health experts, and I encourage full cooperation and transparency as the situation develops. I also fully support exploring a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan is Idaho’s second largest trading partner and a crucial economic partner for the United States. I look forward to working with Mr. Lai on shared interests and priorities in the months and years ahead.”

“I was honored to meet with Taiwan’s Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te today and reaffirm that the United States Congress will continue to advocate on behalf of Taiwan and the Taiwanese people as guided by U.S. law, including the Taiwan Relations Act, the Taiwan Travel Act, and my Asia Reassurance Initiative Act. I also relayed my concerns with the World Health Organization excluding Taiwan as the Wuhan coronavirus spreads around the globe,”  said Gardner. “As China continues its aggressive campaign to delegitimize Taiwan, it’s critically important for the United States to reaffirm our support for Taiwan’s resilient and vibrant democracy, and to further grow the bonds of friendship between the people of Taiwan and the United States.”